Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mt 5:43-48 God And All His Children

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father…So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Not too long ago I got into a debate with an atheist who was trying to convince me that love had nothing to do with God but with our brains, and that "love" was purely a result of certain chemical reactions or processes.  

In response I wrote back saying, "So what you are saying is that if the proper part of my brain is stimulated, then I should be able to (or forced to) love my enemies, correct?  The person who assassinated my best friend or raped my neighbor's child, right?  Just at the click of the right button, correct?  Sorry, but not only are you totally wrong but you're also confusing love (agape) with lust (eros)." 

I’m not perfect.   I’m not!  And I have no problem saying it, especially when I find myself in a pinch or stuck in a corner, or when my errors are so obvious I have no out!  So, “I’m not perfect” becomes the perfect excuse for my poor behavior.  Hey, can anyone claim to be perfect?  
Be perfect.  Maybe no one can claim to be perfect or to know everything, but we do know that we can be better and know better.  We can know right from wrong, and we can know we must do right and help move those who do wrong.
You have heard that it was said… So many people have a hard time reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament.  They seem so different.  They conclude that either there are two different Gods in the Bible or that God had a big change of heart!  Which one is it?  I personally agree there was a big change of heart, but it didn’t happen to God; instead, it happened to man, to us, thanks be to God. 
God did not need to change his heart.  We did. 
A little bit of history.  Let’s not forget:  the Old Testament is the story of man in his infancy.  It’s that time in “life” when we were all young and wild, literally.  We tend to forget this fact like we tend to forget that our kids, even in the “modern era,” are still kids that have a lot of learning to do! 
Well, infant “man” had a lot of learning to do.   He could have gone in so many different directions.  He could have become an animal, as some did.  He could have become a barbarian, as some did.  But he could have also become a Saint, like some did. 
Now God was present, like any good dad, in the early development of his children, especially His Jewish children.  We know the Jewish people were taught by God.  We know that they endured tough times with God.  But what we tend to forget is that they were completely surrounded by children that loved to play God; and if they weren’t playing God then they were worshiping God in the most inhumane and horrific ways!  The gods they worshipped were known as Moloch, Dagon and Tanit.   They prostituted their women to them; they sacrificed their children to them, and they terrorized their neighbors with them.  God, through the Jewish people, set out to destroy them.  And they did.   Their influence was annihilated.
We need to stop saying our Jewish ancestors were “backwards” in their thinking; or “barbarian” in their attitudes.  They weren’t.  In fact, they were much more forward thinking than many of us are today.  If anything, many of our children live like yesterday’s barbarians and call it “leaning forward.”  They’re not “leaning forward,” their “leaning backwards!”  Their repeating the worst aspects of history!
But I say to you, love your enemies...  Loving our enemies is going to take a lot more than just stimulating our brains.  The Lord is telling us that we need to be perfect, and not just “perfect,” but “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  These are some pretty big shoes to fill.  But no one can claim that God did not prepare us for this moment.  After all, He spoke these words long before World War I, World War II and the nuclear age; long before the threat of nuclear annihilation and the resurgence of Islam and terrorism.  He spoke these words long before any of us hit the ground running.
Are we listening?  Or are we like children covering our ears. 

P.S.  Check out the latest in Catholic News.  Read how Charles Darwin's great-great-great granddaughter decided to become Catholic.

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